Brisbane-based SME EPE has been awarded a $1 million contract to develop a portable detection system for the Navy to sense distant explosives, chemical warfare agents, gasses and narcotics.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said this was the second contract awarded to Zangold Pty Ltd (trading as EPE) under the Defence Innovation Hub fund.
EPE director Warwick Penrose said EPE was proud to be working with Defence to develop this next-generation force protection capability for those members of the Royal Australian Navy who conducted risky boarding operations.
“This innovation has the potential to deliver a new paradigm in boarding operations enabling stand-off detection prior to boarding,” he said.
EPE provides a range of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRND), counter-IED and counter-drone technologies to the Australian and New Zealand defence forces, as well as to police and government agencies.
Mr Penrose said their PRIED (Portable Raman Improvised Explosive Detector) project recognised EPE’s long-term commitment and investment in building and developing sovereign force protection capabilities that help take Australian servicemen out of the danger zone.
“Our team delivers a broad spectrum of innovative force protection capabilities that are in service today with the ADF, NZDF as well as local and federal police and first responders” he said.
This latest project aims to further develop PRIED technology, which has already been deployed for force protection on land, to meet the particular requirements of maritime operations.
EPE employs 20 people and is headquartered in Brisbane with offices in Canberra, Albury/Wodonga and New Zealand.